Geraniums are exceptional flowers that enhance the beauty of our homes and gardens, so you might start to worry and wonder why your geraniums are dying. Taking care of them ensures they remain healthy and yield lovely blooms.
To prevent them from dying, you need to understand their needs.
Below are some mistakes you should avoid to ensure your geraniums will thrive.
Geraniums love well-drained soil; when potting, ensure they have adequate drainage. Soggy soils breed fungi and affect the quality of the blooms. According to the USDA plant hardiness soil map, these perennial plants do well in zones 10 and 11.
However, they also thrive indoors in lower leaves zones when planted during the cold months. The timing prevents them from stem rot, rust, and leaf blight.
Here is what you need to check when you notice your geraniums dying.
It is challenging to differentiate between rust and rot in geranium. Rust is often caused by high humidity and is highly destructive to these plants. It’s even worse if the flowers are not adequately spaced.
The plants require moderate humidity and enough spacing to let air circulate freely. Rust on geranium plants appears on the leaves bottom. The rust first appears as circular yellowish spots. If the rust is left to grow, the leaf’s color turns brown, making them fall from the stem.
The rust spreads fast, and only immediate action can save them before affecting the entire flower. Before buying geranium seedlings, inspect the leaf under and the upper side.
These are areas where rust appears first. When you notice rust after planting, remove all the affected leaves. Once done with pruning the leaves, fumigate your flowers and decrease the humidity levels in the garden soil.
Too much watering does more harm than good to your geranium plants. Excessive watering is known to cause stem and root rot in many plants, and geraniums are no exception. Geraniums retain a lot of water in stems and leaves, and you might not know the infected leaves over-watering has caused your plants until it is too late.
The rot starts from the roots and eats the plant up to the stem. By the time you realize it, the plant might already start dying. Once the stem changes color to black, you can do nothing. Even if there was excessive watering, the leaves might still stay green.
When the root rot, the water supply to the plant is cut, and your geranium dies. However, you can save your lovely plants if you notice signs of rot early. Simply remove the plants from the soil, cut off the rotten roots, and clean the soil around the roots.
Wait for the roots to dry before dusting them with a suitable fungicide. Then, transfer them to a new pot with fresh soil.
Too much fertilizer does not add value to geraniums; it kills them. These plants are moderate feeders and require little or no fertilizer if you use the right soil type, moderate moisture, and water them only when the top soil is dry.
Excess fertilizer harms the beneficial microorganisms in the soil. It also alters the soil pH, which leads to abnormal root system development. When the root system is not developed correctly, the plant is denied enough nutrients, and this causes them to die.
Moreover, too much fertilizer changes the color of your geranium leaves from lush green to yellow or brown.
Although confused with geranium rot, leaf blight is a common disease in geranium plants. When leaf blight strikes, the leaves will turn yellow and start wilting. The plant will also have more dead leaves, indicating that the geranium is dying. Leaf blight is a disease that eats into the leaf veins and disrupts photosynthesis.
When the leaves wither, remove the blight-affected ones and dispose of them. This helps in preventing further damage to your geraniums. The blight can survive in the soil for more than a year.
Always ensure you treat the soil before introducing new geraniums. If you are not sure if the disease is still in the soil, plant different flowers that are blight resistant for at least a year.
Why your germaniums are dying could also be caused by other reasons such as blackleg, rust, and verticillium wilt. Blackleg is a disease caused by water molds in the Pythium genus.
You can stop blackleg in its tracks if you catch it early before the stem is completely girdled. Rust is a common bacterial leaf affecting many plants, but Puccinia pelargonii-zonalis is the fungus that specifically attacks geraniums.
Verticillium wilt can resemble bacterial blight because the plant simply turns brown and collapses. Because it’s difficult to tell whether the problem is due to overwatering or a fungus, treat for both.
The diseases we have mentioned are manageable once treated early. So the best thing you can do is be alert and inspect your germaniums occasionally.
Because, like they always say, prevention is always better than cure. And it goes the same for taking care of your germanium plants.
Geraniums add glamour to your home and garden. Their scent freshens the air while the petals brighten up your surrounding, giving you a refreshing feel.
However, if neglected, they can quickly die. It can be challenging to figure out why your geraniums are dying. However, inspecting the plant leaves and stems can help find the proper solution.
Any leaf or stem color change should be a wake-up call, and it is time to act quickly. Besides, it is essential to expose them to enough light and humidity.
To maintain healthy geraniums, regular inspection is a proven way to ensure they do not die before maturity.